Rangers vs Sporting Braga
Sporting Braga head to Ibrox Stadium to take on Rangers in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie, hoping to cling onto a narrow 1-0 first-leg lead.
Rangers have instantaneously bounced back from the first-leg collapse with an overwhelming 4-0 victory away to domestic rivals St. Mirren over Scottish Premiership weekend. Before faltering in Braga last time out, the ‘Gers’ had enjoyed a stellar 13-game unbeaten streak against Portuguese clubs in continental action (W6, D7). Moreover, they’ve never lost a European home fixture against Portuguese visitors, racking up seven wins and three draws from ten such contests. On top of that, six of Rangers’ seven two-legged UEFA ties against teams from the Primeira Liga have yielded triumphs (L1), including the last five in a row. Even though a 2-1 Old Firm derby defeat to Celtic in their most recent competitive outing at Ibrox brought Rangers’ 20-game undefeated home run to a halt (W15, D5), the hosts will feel confident about returning to winning ways.
On the other hand, Braga head into midweek proceedings in the midst of a purple patch, having won their last four competitive matches on the bounce by an aggregate score of 7-3. However, the upcoming trip to Glasgow will likely stir some painful memories in the travelling camp, as Braga have lost all three previous competitive visits to Scotland. Additionally, Carlos Carvalhal’s men have failed to impress on foreign soil of late, suffering five defeats across their last eight away games in the Europa League proper (W2, D1). Braga’s indifferent away European form threatens to end their flawless record in two-legged UEFA ties in which they travelled to the second away leg holding a lead that has seen them win all 12 such engagements.